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January 10, 2005 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-01-10

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The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday, January 10, 2005 - 3B

Tankers drop two out West

Virtual matchups
stand test of time

By Anne Ulble
Daily Sports Writer
If swimming against three nationally ranked teams
isn't tough enough, imagine doing it at an outside nata-
torium in 50-degree weather during a rainstorm. This
was the setting for the Michigan men's swimming and
diving team faced during its two-week training trip to
Irvine, Calif.
"I know that none of us enjoyed the weather," Michi-
gan coach Bob Bowman said. "But I think that the adver-
sity was good. It pulled us together. These guys need to
realize that NCAA Championships are a three-day meet
that will be tougher than the weather we faced. I think
that this will only make us stronger."
The ninth-ranked Wolverines (2-0 Big Ten 4-2 over-
all) were handed their first pair of losses this weekend
- against No. 5 Stanford (2-0 overall) on Friday (135-
102) and No. 8 California (4-0 overall) on Saturday
(169-129).
Bowman knew these meets were going to give
his team a tough time. For one thing, Michigan had
just 18 swimmers competing against 30 for Cali-
fornia.
"We couldn't bring every swimmer due to how far
away we were traveling," Bowman said. "Their team
was able to provide more numbers with more depth."
The Wolverines were edged out of a victory in the
Exon
excels b
'playing
s-marter
By Daniel Levy
For the Daily

opening 200-yard medley relay but answered back by
securing the top-three spots in the next event, the 1,650-
yard freestyle. Junior Peter Vanderkaay earned the win
with a time of 15:34.06. Seniors Brendan Neligan and
Zayd Na hit the wall after Vanderkaay for second and
third place, respectively.
Following the long distance events were impressive
swims for juniors Davis Tarwater and Chris DeJong.
Tarwater took second in the 200-yard freestyle with a
time of 1:39.10. DeJong won the 100-yard backstroke in
48:24, which is an NCAA-consideration time.
"Chris had the best dual meet of the season against
Cal," Bowman said. "The effort he puts in is just amaz-
ing, and this weekend just proved it."
Dejong went on to win the 200-yard backstroke
- and still has not lost a single backstroke race this
season.
While at the individual level the team did well, the
Wolverines were still unable to secure a team victory.
Bowman was able to put a positive spin on the two loss-
es by taking into consideration the effort that his swim-
mers put into their races.
"It was a tough two weeks," Bowman said. "But I
thought we took a real step forward toward becoming a
better team this season. We swam against three of the
best programs in the history and ended up having some

TONY DING/Dauly
Junior Peter Vanderkaay won the 1,650-yard freestyle
against Stanford and California over the weekend.
dual meets against Big Ten competitors North-
western and Indiana next weekend in their only
home stand of the season. Michigan swims against
the Wildcats on Friday at 6 p.m. and the Hoosiers
on Saturday at 1 p.m.
"I'm excited to see our team compete at home," Bow-
man said. "But we won't be taking these meets lightly.
They are going to be extremely tough for us."

great swims."
The Wolverines look

forward to hosting two

* WOM ENS TR ACK( & HE LD
Event-crossing runners
enjoy weekend success

The 2005 Michigan Invitational fast
became the Elizabeth Exon Show.
After a strong start Friday, in
which she won her singles and dou-
bles matches, rank Exon continued
her impressive play on Saturday
when she took to the court for her
best match of the weekend. Facing
Georgia Tech's Kelly Anderson, Exon
knew she was in for a battle because
of Anderson's national ranking. The
two traded winners and long rallies,
matching each other shot for shot.
Neither could gain the advantage and
the first set went to a tiebreaker.
True to her style, Exon outlasted
Anderson in a long rally to take the
first set tiebreaker, 7-5. Exon's solid
play and never-ending endurance
proved to be too much for Anderson,
who was unable to sustain the inten-
sity that had made the first set such
a thriller.
Exon took the second set, 6-3,
which added another victory to her
weekend.

By Daniel Bromwich
Daily Sports Writer
If you happened to walk into the Michigan
Indoor Track Building on Saturday morn-
ing, you might have been a bit confused. The
results were standard enough, with superior
runners like senior Sierra Hauser-Price and
redshirt sophomore Rebecca Walter win-
ning their events. But the difference was that
they were winning events that most people
hadn't seen them run before.
Competing against a field of smaller
schools - including Eastern Michigan,
Siena Heights, Findlay, Detroit and Grand
Valley State the Wolverines were able to
easily win most events at the Jack Harvey
Invitational. But for Michigan, this meet
was less about competing in and winning
specific events and more about just "get-
ting the kinks out," according to Michigan
coach James Henry.
"We just wanted to see what cobwebs
we have, what athletes we have and where
our starting point is," Henry said. "We con-
tinued to lift and train through this week,
and we'll use this meet as just that - a
training meet."
Henry was pleased with what he saw.
His athletes were able to excel and domi-
nate the competition, regularly finishing
first in races that they don't compete in dur-
ing the season.
"I'm real happy with what I saw from
many of the runners today," Henry said.
"We looked really good and came out with

no injuries, which is the most important
thing."
Henry specifically mentioned runners
Walter, Hauser-Price and Lindsey Gallo,
along with high-jumper Stephanie Linz as
having impressed him.
Walter ran the mile and finished with a
personal best time of 4:51.54. But the mile
is not her standard event. The cross country
star usually runs the longer 3,000-meter
and 5,000-meter races.
"The mile is actually one of my favor-
ite races, and I was pleased with the way it
went to day," Walter said. "It's good for my
body to run shorter races sometimes, and it
helps me work on my strength."
Former basketball player Hauser-Price
was also running in an event foreign to her.
The senior sprinter - who usually com-
petes in the 100-meter and 200-meter races
- ran and won the 400-meter race. This
was Hauser-Price's first 400-meter compe-
tition, and it was also her first ever indoor
track meet.
"I just wanted to get out there and be
relaxed," Hauser-Price said. "I definitely
ran better than I expected to, but this race
is really like an endurance workout for the
200-meter race."
Redshirtjunior Linz returned to the team
for her first meet in over a year. The 2003
All-American high jumper had transferred
to Oakland University to play volleyball
last year, but began a successful return to
the high-jump by winning the competition
See TRACK, page 6B

Saturday afternoon, following a
brief and humbling stint on the IM
Building's hardwood floor (I didn't
used to airball lay-
ups, did I?), I expe-A
rienced the healing
power of Best Buy
when the store's
phone receptionist
informed me that
a few Xboxes were
actually in stock. GENNARO
A commod- FILICE
ity of Tickle-Me- The SportsMonday
Elmo hotness this Column
holiday season
due to its reduced $150 price tag, Xbox
had evaded me for over a month. But,
after a swift heist of my housemate's car
keys and a quick bank withdrawal of my
Christmas dough (grandparents really
do this whole gift-giving thing right), the
wait was over.
Ten hours and 12 games of ESPN
Basketball 2K5 later, it was 4:10 a.m.,
and I was ready to hit the sack. But my
roommate, Kaegi, who was indubitably
functioning with extreme amounts of
liquid courage after attending a few house
parties, began running his mouth:
"I've never played ESPN basketball,
and I'll still shut you down."
I've never been one to turn down a
challenge - even one of the drunken
nature - regardless of the time of day.
So, I accepted.
Kaegi - never a predictable man
- chose to run with the 1990s Western
Conference All-Stars. I countered with
the 1990s Eastern Conference All-Stars.
A quick glance at the game's matchups,
specifically at center, sent Kaegi to the
ground, utterly amused.
Shaquille O'Neal vs. Shaquille O'Neal!
Shaq, who dominated one half of the
'90s with the Orlando Magic and the
other half with the Los Angeles Lakers,
was starting on both sides. The '90s East
boasted the younger Diesel, who sported
the fade haircut - an early '90s must-
have - while the '90s West possessed the
older Diesel, who sported the shiny, Mr.
Clean-esque bare dome. Shaq of old vs.
Shaq of new; Shaq-Fu vs. the Big Aristot-
le; hair vs. hairless. This battle of the titans
- or titan, I suppose - had Kaegi laugh-
ing hysterically (the sauce generates easy
chuckles) and me reminiscing intensely ...
Sports video games have provided
some marquee matchups that preceded
this Shaq vs. Shaq dandy - matchups that
captured the imagination of every Ameri-
can kid, coast to coast, on a daily basis.
These showdowns didn't always exist
- it took a few years for some real-life
battles to emerge. In the early days of Nin-
tendo, nameless/faceless players ruled the
playing fields. "Double Dribble" - the
first 5-on-5, full court basketball video

game ever - provided four teams to pick
from (Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and
New York). But there was no differentia-
tion (name or number) from one player
to the next. Nintendo's "Ice Hockey"
introduced the option of personalizing
a player's girth. But it wasn't until the
late '80s that games began recognizing
real-life players. This era spawned virtual
showdowns of epic proportions - and
they came to life in eight-bit (Nintendo)
and 16-bit (Sega Genesis) form.
As an avid sports fan with minimal
responsibilities at the time, I exhausted
legendary faceoffs on a nightly basis. And
there were three clashes that stood out
above the rest.
Clemns vs. Pucket: No, that's not a
typo. "RBI Baseball" had room for just six
letters per player name. But don't let the
condensed titles fool you - even today,
there is still no better virtual diamond
matchup than RBI's Roger Clemens vs.
Kirby Puckett. "The Rocket" held a for-
midable 2.48 ERA in the game, comple-
menting a blazing fastball with a nasty
9-3 slider. But if there was anyone who
could hang with Boston's Clemens, it was
Minnesota's Puckett, who boasted a .332
batting average with 28 homers. Pairing
off the two best players on RBI's two best
teams, this battle was almost as enjoyable
as the game's classic soundtrack that fea-
tured such hits as "Nobody on base" and
"Someone on base."
Bo vs. L.T: Although "Madden" reigns
supreme in football video games these
days, "Tecmo Super Bowl" is the forefa-
ther of virtual pigskin. In the game, when
the ball carrier ran into a defensive player,
the duo would shimmy for a few seconds
and then either the defender would make
the tackle or the runner would break free.
Bo Jackson never lost one of these Tecmo
tangos ... except to Lawrence Taylor.
Equally fast and powerful, Bo and L.T.
present the game's most intriguing 1-on-1
showdown - a toss-up every time.
Roenick vs. the World: There may
be no better virtual sports game than
Genesis's incomparable "NHL '94," and
there may be no better virtual athlete than
this title's version of Jeremy Roenick. J.R.'s
combination of sheer power and unparal-
leled finesse were immortalized during a
scene in the movie "Swingers." As undis-
puted master of NHL '94, Roenick faced
off against a rotating carousel of talented
centers that included Wayne Gretzky,
Mario Lemieux and Steve Yzerman.
Although these matchups were tight, it
was never a good idea to bet against J.R.
While today's video games offer amaz-
ing graphics and gameplay, there is no
matchup that even compares to any of
these four ... not even Shaq vs. Shaq.
Gennaro Filice can be reached at
gfilice @umich.edu.

ANNE KOUZMANOFF/Daily
Sophomore Elizabeth Exon won four of
her five matches on the weekend.
"I am playing smarter," Exon said.
"I am being patient and waiting for my
opportunities to attack instead of over-
hitting and trying to force things that
aren't there. I feel really good out on the
court - like I could stay out there all
day long."
The win was even more impressive
considering how dominant Georgia
Tech was all weekend, taking 21 of their
23 singles matches.
Anderson got a small measure of
See EXON, page 6B

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